DIFFICULT BUDGET VOTED THROUGH

As expected, the Liberal Democrat–Scottish Nationalist Administration succeeded in voting through its widely trailed budget proposals on 11 February. A 1% cut in the City of Edinburgh Council's schools budget formed part of this package of measures.

The budget was met with a variety of reactions. One Parent Council Chair was uncharacteristically furious, both at the size of the cut and the amount of 'bullshit' endured during an allegedly flawed consultation process. Other PC Chairs vowed to continue applying pressure on councillors in an effort to see off further cuts in years to come.

Poiliticians publicly towed their party lines (see 'Breaking news'), mostly lambasting Administration incompetence at a time of increased allocations, or blaming the previous Administration for profligacy, and/or regretfully supporting hard decisions in financially difficult times. Interesting Privately, politicians from across the board expressed concern and sorrow, one of them conceding that this was 'certainly not what any of us came into politics to do'.

With a General Election on the horizon, it was perhaps predictable that so much attention should have been directed at the budget. This is a battleground certain to become even more intestely contested as local-authority and Scottish Parliamentary elections draw closer.

The Administration's own description of the Budget highlights can be seen at www.edinburgh.government.uk. At present (12 Feb.) the link to full details of the Budget Motion is not working, but it should be fixed early next week.